Five incoming college freshmen, including four defensemen, were selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL entry draft at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Jacob Trouba (6'2", 187 lbs), a Michigan native who played for the U.S. National Development Team's Under-18 squad and is committed to the University of Michigan for next season, was picked ninth overall by the Winnipeg Jets. He posted nine goals and 22 assists for 31 points in 50 games last season, along with 65 penalty minutes.
Latvian-born forward Zemgus Girgensons (6'1", 186 lbs), who led Dubuque (USHL) with 55 points (24 goals, 31 assists) in 49 games and will skate at Vermont next year, was nabbed 14th overall by the Buffalo Sabres.
Quebec native Michael Matheson (6'1", 178 lbs) was taken 23rd by the Florida Panthers and is headed to defending NCAA champion Boston College in the fall. Matheson had a scoring line of 11-16-27 in 53 outings with Dubuque (USHL) last year, to go along with 84 penalty minutes.
Wisconsin-born Jordan Schmaltz (6'2", 180 lbs), who is off to North Dakota for 2012-13, was tabbed 25th overall by the St. Louis Blues after collecting 35 points (seven goals, 28 assists) in 46 games with Green Bay (USHL) and helping the Gamblers to a Clark Cup title. He was also a two-time All-USHL First-Team selection.
Brady Skjei (6'2", 196 lbs), who has agreed to play at his home state school of Minnesota, was chosen 28th overall by the New York Rangers after registering 22 points (four goals, 18 assists) with 32 penalty minutes in 56 contests with the U.S. NTDP U-18 Team.
Rounds 2 through 7 of the draft will be conducted on Saturday, when several current collegians and more incoming freshmen are expected to be chosen by NHL clubs.
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